On 23 February 1743 Henry Bulley was tried, with his common law wife, Ann Peacock, otherwise Bulley, otherwise Hubbard at The Old Bailey for the crime of theft: burglary. The robbery took place at the Hospital of Bridewell, a workshop and a place of correction near Blackfriars Bridge, It is assumed the victim was the Governor. The stolen goods were taken to the Bell Inn at Dulwich which stood in College Road near the present Dulwich Park gates where it is assumed they were to have been sold. This is an edited transcript of the proceedings of the trial.
Henry Bulley and Ann Peacock were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Joseph Taylor Esq., in the Hospital of Bridewell about the Hour of three in the Night, and stealing one Silver Cup and Cover; 2 Silver Muggs; six Salvers; 3 dozen of Spoons; 2 dozen Silver handled knives; 37 Forks; 1 Silver Sauce-pan; 3 Salts; 3 Salt-Spoons &c. Value £80, the Property of Joseph Taylor, Esq: in the said Dwelling-House, February 15.
Joseph Avery I am Butler to Mr Taylor, in Bridewell: I looked the Plate over on the 13th Day of this Month when my Master went out of Town: I left it locked up in the Back-Parlour, in the Beauset, and took the Key with me to Stanmore. On Thursday, when my Master came to Town, I found the Beauset was broke open, and the Plate was gone, as mentioned in the Indictment: the biggest part of the Plate was found: this is the Cup and Cover which I left in the Beauset, locked up when I went out of Town. (There was a Silver Sauce-pan and some other Pieces of Plate produced, which were prov'd to be Mr Taylor's)
Rachel Walker When I went to Bed, on Monday was seven-night, the Door was locked; and in the Morning, I found the Beauset was broke open, and the Plate was gone: There was a Boat and a Sauce-pan which stood by the Dresser, they were both gone. The Door was locked when I went to Bed, and I believe it was barred: They came in at the Window, up one Pair of Stairs: the Sash was pushed up.
Job Steele In the first Place, Henry Bulley, his Wife Ann Bulley and I, were at the Ben Johnson's- Head in Shoe-Lane. (I never was there three Times in my Life) The last Night I was there, I was with them: it was Monday was seven-Night; and we agreed to rob Esquire Taylor's House, in Bridewell, that Night.
Q Was you ever Servant to Mr Taylor?
Steele I never was his Servant.- And accordingly, departing from that House, we entered into Bridewell undiscovered, without any Suspicion; and went up a winding Fair of Stairs. We went into the House about Three o'Clock in the Morning; all Three of us. I was the Person, that entered the House; and I will tell you by what Method: I lay concealed upon the Stairs and when I thought they were all asleep I came into the inner, and then into the outer Court , and Bulley helped me up over the Pallisades: there was a Sash-Window, which I lifted up and entered in, as better knowing the House than he did (though he knew it pretty well). I went down, opened the Door, and let them in, and they struck a Light with their Tinder-box, which they carried away with them, and broke the Beauset up; they filled two Bags which they carried with them and they left more Plate behind, than they took away: They might have taken Plates and Dishes along with them, which they said were Pewter, and they would not take them; but they were Plate. I am sure the two Prisoners are the Persons who took the Plate away, Gentlemen: I have not known the Woman above three Months, but I have known him 20 Years. They took it all away, I had none of it.
Q What had you nothing at all for your Pains?
Steele No; I had nothing at all for my Pains.
Richard Price On Saturday last Mr Taylor sent for me, with a Message, that he desired to speak with me; he said, he believed he had got a Person who would give him Information of the People who had got the Plate: I went with the Person to a House in Horsleydown, but I did not see them that Night; I went over again the next Morning with a Search-Warrant; there are two doors to the House, 2 of us went in at the Fore Door, and I and another went in at the Back- Door; the first Person I saw was Henry Bulley, and I believed according to the Account that was given to me that he was the Man; I endeavoured then to know where they lodged, in order to find the Woman, but as I had a Search-Warrant to search the House, I did search Part of it, and they brought me Word the Woman was in the House; we went into the back Part of the House and found her there, and I found a Wooden-Chest, and in that chest a brass Pistol: I found this Plate in the House where the Man was: It is the Sign of the Boatswain and Call, in Horsleydown, Fair Street: I think the Man's name is Redrosse; I believe Bulley came in as a Guest, for they told me he did not lodge there.
Council We shall now prove how this Plate was carried about from one Place to another.
John Gyles (coachman) My Stand is by White-Chapel Bars: Last Thursday was sen'night, between Twelve and One, the Prisoner at the Bar (the Man) came to me and asked for a Hackney-Coachman to go to Dulwich. I called a Hackney-man out of the House, I do not know whether he asked him 8 or 10 Shillings; the Prisoner bid him six: I said, I could get him a Chaise and Pair for 7 Shillings: which I did and took him to Wentworth Street, Spital-fields, and took up a Portmanteau-Trunk, and put it in the Hay-Bag, and a little square Box. This is the Box; the Box was very heavy. The Box was put in the Chaise: I was ordered to go to the Bell at Dulwich, and unluckily the Portmanteau burst open on the Road; I saw there was Plate in it; and when I had sat him down I came away and was then to fetch the Woman, which I did, and two Dogs - I left this Box and Trunk with Henry Bulley, at the Bell at Dulwich.
Charles Shooler (Carrier) I took the two Prisoners up at the Flying Horse, in Lambeth Street, and carried them to the Fox under the Hill, at Camberwell; and then went to the Bell at Dulwich, and brought from thence a Box . That is the Box, and a Portmanteau, that I believe is the Trunk. And I carried them into Horsleydown, Fair Street, to the Boatswain and Call and set both the Man and the Woman down there. I left the Trunk and Box there below Stairs.
Prisoner, Ann Bulley I desire that Box may be opened (Which was done, and a Pistol taken out) Whose Pistol is that? It is his Pistol.
Job Steele I know the Pistol well. - I own it to be my Pistol.
Ann Bulley Whose things are those? (A Pair of Pistols, and two dark Lanthorns were taken out of the Box.)
Job Steele What signifies my knowing of these Things. I know them very well: These Pistols are your's, I have seen you handle them many a Time: These two Dark Lanthorns, I believe, are the Lanthorns we made Use of at Mr Taylor's House. - All the Things in the Box, were Bulley's except one Pistol.
Ann Bulley The Man who is the Evidence is the Person who sent the Box with the Plate in it under our Care. He sent it by unknown Hand, and I did not know how he came by it.
Elliot I saw Job Steele come into Bridewell, with a Man and a Woman with him, on Monday was se'ennight, a small Matter before Eleven o'clock at Night. By their size they are the same; I did not see their Faces. - I am sure Job Steele was one, I have seen him more than an hundred Times, and I know it was him.
Andrew Culley On Shrove-Tuesday, about half an Hour after Five in the Morning, I met both Prisoners coming out of Bridewell loaded, and I thought they were going a Country-Journey, because they went out Bag and Baggage at that Time in the Morn, I had no Suspicion of them, if I had I should have stopped them.
Verdict Henry Bulley guilty, Death. Ann Bulley acquiited, as being at present with her Husband, and supposed to act under his Direction.